How to stop your dog from straying

Stray dogs can be a nuisance, they can cause road traffic accidents and damage people’s property for which the owner of the dog may be liable. Also stray dogs potentially can harm themselves, other animals and people. They may foul public areas and pavements. Owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control and prevent them from straying. 

Some Simple Steps to Stop Your Dog Straying

A dog can go missing for all sorts of reasons – a moment’s inattention, a missing panel in the garden fence, a door or gate left ajar, fireworks or other sudden loud noises such as thunder or vehicles. An un-neutered male dog in particular is more likely to stray from an owner’s property if there is an un-spayed female dog in ‘season’ in the area. All these and more can cause dogs to find themselves lost. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your dog does not stray:

  • Ensure that all fences around your home are secure, and that gates have a closing device.
  • Train your dog not to run off when you are out walking, and don’t let it run off where you can’t see the dog.
  • Give your dog plenty of exercise and provide toys etc. – they are more likely to stray if they are bored.
  • Do not let your dog out to roam – always make sure that there is someone with the dog that can keep it under control.
  • Neuter your dog – male dogs have a higher chance of straying if there is a nearby bitch in season.  

If your dog hasn’t been neutered as yet, and you are concerned about your pet straying, your vet is a good place to start.

Why is it nicer to neuter?

Neuter your dog and help in our fight against pet abandonment or just be a responsible dog owner and provide a better lifestyle for your pet:

  • Neutering may encourage less aggressive behaviour.
  • Dogs that are neutered are less likely to stray.
  • It helps prevent male dogs attempting to escape and seek out a local bitch in season.


Since 6 April 2016 all dogs must be microchipped; this will help the team to locate the owner of the dog. It doesn’t replace the need for a collar and tag (The Control of Dogs Order 1992 requires any dog in a public place to wear a collar or tag with the name and address of the owner engraved or written on it). 

Our Neighbourhood Dog Warden Service currently offers free microchipping. For more information please see our microchipping page.